I really liked your article about
neighbors helping out. Here, we are having trouble with the
city of Kyle, Texas expanding into rural areas regardless of the
impact on farmers. I have been certified organic since 1989 and
the city has always given me a hard time for farming on the outskirts
of town. Their latest maneuver is now to build an “outer loop,”
which will take up our front yard. Why? Because they need a major
road to get to another subdivision. We went from 2,500 to 16,000
in population and are projected to go to 45,000 by 2007.
In fact it is so bad the president of the Chamber of Commerce
was quoted in the local newspaper saying that is best for area farmers
to sell their land and move to west Texas if they want to continue
their farming lifestyle. A letter to the editor quickly followed.
From that, I made a decision to stop all sales to the area farmers
markets and concentrate on local CSA in Kyle so that I can get support
from voting people who will not want our farm to be taken out.
Local politicians need to support local farming by securing their
right to farm. To learn more about me, go to www.ssawg.org.
Go to “What we do,” then to “Organic farmer network”
and “farmer profiles” and look up my name.
Tim P. Miller
I enjoyed your recent New Farm piece about neighbors.
I live in very rural Upstate New York where farming is the leading
industry. I am sad to say that we have very little contact with
our neighbors. Everyone always seems so busy and then so tired after
being so busy that there is little time to connect.
However, there used to be a large dairy operation next door (sad
to say it has gone through several owners and now sits fallow) that
had, well, very lax outlooks about fence maintenance. There were
numerous times we had the farm’s Holsteins in our yard and/or
in the busy highway out front. It was very easy for my wife and
I to grab flashlights at night and try to herd the cows back inside
the fences and to keep cars from hitting them in the night. I guess
that is what neighbors do.
Writing this reminds me, that a previous owner – the original
owner, a family farmer – used to hold a “neighborhood”
picnic each summer for people living nearby. My wife and I never
went, though I suspect we would now; older and wiser.
Keep up the good work,
Thank you for the “community” article; beautifully
written and right on the money. May we all support and love the
earth and each other “all ways.” From a fellow “borderless”
farmer in Fairfield, Iowa!
Great day to you,
Have some questions to Ask Jeff? E-mail him
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.